KOBE, Japan (Feb. 26, 2003) — Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. returned to the black last year, posting $65.8 million in net income on a 3.1-percent increase in sales, to $3.58 billion.
The sales increase was aided in large part by a 53.2-percent jump in export sales to North America.
The company, which markets the Sumitomo, Falken and Ohtsu brands in North America, reported a 40.6-percent gain in operating earnings, to $253.5 million, on a 27-percent improvement in Japan and a drastic reduction in losses by its overseas operations, Sumitomo said.
Sales in North America — which include some sporting goods revenue in addition to the tire business — grew to $290.5 million, and now represent 8.1 percent of Sumitomo's global revenues.
Sumitomo's tire sales increased 4.6 percent, to $2.64 billion, and operating earnings improved 16 percent to $224.6 million.